How can I get continued financial support if we are separated and filing for divorce?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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How can I get continued financial support if we are separated and filing for divorce?

My husband and I recently separated after 15 years of marriage. I have been on disability for 9 years due to breast cancer. He was helping out with half of all of our finances, mainly rent, utilities. He also has a full-time job. We have decided to finally go our separate ways permanently. We have been separated on and off for the past 10 years, mainly due to my disability – stage 4 breast

cancer. My husband was the primary breadwinner as he has a full-time job and was paying the majority of all of our bills. He is no longer willing 2 be in a marriage with someone this sick. Now, he feels that he doesn’t have to pay anything as we no longer will be living together. Is there any way to get

support from him. I am on SSDI but that doesn’t nearly cover even a third of the bills we had together including rent, groceries, utilities, miscellaneous bills.

Asked on July 25, 2018 under Family Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

In a divorce, a spouse who was the primary breadwinner and who provided most of the support for the couple or family will almost always be ordered to pay spousal support ("alimony") to the spouse who was supported and/or has lesser earning potential. Based on what you write, you should receive support. In addition, you will receive a share or portion of all marital assets (money, assets, and property accumulated during marriage).
When you file for the divorce, you can also file a motion on an "emergent" (think "urgent" or "emergency") basis to have him pay you some amount of support and/or pay certain bills for you during the divorce (while the divorce case is going on) to maintain the "status quo" (that is, to maintain, more or less, your current lifestyle). This kind of motion can be complex to file; you will want a family or divorce law attorney to help you. More generally, you will want an attorney's help to make sure you get everything to which you are entitled--you should consult with a lawyer right away about protecting your rights and interests.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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